We gots us some basketball, folks!
The Phoenix Suns scrimmage at noon today is purportedly going to be covered "LIVE" on SunsTV at Suns.com, with play by play called by radio voice Jon Bloom and color commentary done by this generation's Ed McMahon: Greg Esposito. Not sure if it's audio only, or if there's actual streaming but I am guessing the latter.
Irregardless (yes, I know that's not a word), the Bright Side staff will be out in never-before-seen force - the great Sean Sullivan (who I always look up to) and the inimitable Jim Coughenour (who might take up the entire media session with a single, indepth question) join me for a road trip up the hill. Should be quite a ride!
Okay, it's not regular season basketball. It's not even preseason basketball. It's an organized scrimmage of a motley collection of NBA players that just might have a few guys that will stick around a while.
General Manager Ryan McDonough warns that this season won't be pretty.
"We can't try to rush the process or let our record blur the lines of what we're trying to do," McDonough said, preaching patience in the most obvious way he could. "We've just got to keep getting better, keep pushing, developing our players, and find guys who are keepers for the next great Suns team. That's what I'm looking for."
That's what we're all looking for. Who's a keeper for the next great Suns team?
Bledsoe is quietly one of the more divisive players in the league among executives. There are a lot of higher-ups who view him as an All-Star in waiting, but there's a competing current of skepticism about Bledsoe's ability to run a team solo for 35 minutes per game - a feeling his strong per-minute numbers won't translate. He's sort of like pre-Rockets James Harden in this way, only with a lower ceiling.
Truly, no one knows what we will get with a 35-minute-per-game Bledsoe. The Suns would obviously be ecstatic if Bledsoe has a meteoric rise like James Harden did, but Bledsoe doesn't have the offensive arsenal or distinctive facial hair of Harden to wow the fans into ignoring his faults (for Harden, that's defense). Bledsoe will do a little of everything, but will he be all-time great at anything?
Again, I caution Suns fans not to get too attached to any individual players this season, though I know that's a futile plea. Once we start watching these kids play, and start filling in their gaps with our creative minds, I'm sure there will be "one or two future all-stars here" (I used quotes because that's, to me, a famous movie line. Any guesses?).
McDonough says he sees no reason any of the Suns' veterans can't stay around for the rise, since the oldest is "only" 30 years old. And he drafted the youngest ones. So what gives? Anyone and everyone, that is.
As you watch this team in 2013-14, watch them with an analytical eye. The better each plays, the more value he has in trade. The goal is to end up with a young, top-5 player at every position. The Suns don't have any of those yet. This process is still in its infancy.
Dave's Dastardly Dilemma is to make sure Bright Side has all the based covered for today's game. Sean, Jim and I are going make sure the Bright Side twitter feed is manned with color-commentary observations, that the game thread (this thingy here) is dotted with first-hand observations and that the recap(s) are the most awesomest prose ever typed into a keyboard.
At the very least, it will be a positive day because the Suns are guaranteed to win.
Stay tuned Suns Nation! We've got you covered!!